I played a swanky gig last night with a great tenor player Stan Killian, who’s now living in NYC. He’s been doing really well up there. His debut CD Unified recorded last year is a thing of beauty and features superstars Roy Hargrove and Dave Binney (and others). I’ve noticed that there are some common characteristics of players who do well in New York: confidence, tune knowledge, and rhythmic articulation (as in, lines never sound mushy; they stay crisp and forward-moving).

Speaking of tunes, here’s some of what he called last night. It’s a good list of classics, in line with what gets called at the major jam sessions (Smalls, for example). So treat it as a must-know list, in brief.

It Could Happen To You
You Stepped Out of a Dream
Up Jumped Spring
Speak Low
Along Came Betty
I Love You
Polkadots and Moonbeams
I Hear a Rhapsody
Con Alma

Bye-Ya, Along Came Betty, and Isfahan are definitely on my shed list now.